In 2016, the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference of the UMC joined a few other regional bodies in refusing to enforce the UMC Book of Discipline’s ban on clergy who are “self-avowed practicing homosexuals.” However, Baltimore-Washington Area Bishop LaTrelle Easterling has ruled that two individuals approved by the Board of Ordained Ministry for ordination and commissioning are ineligible due to violating the “practicing homosexuals” ban. Bishop Easterling said that while she does not agree with the current Book of Discipline’s position on ordination standards, “In my opinion, when we pick and choose how and when we will uphold it, we begin the slippery slope toward chaos,” said Easterling.
On the one hand, Hollywood stars preach gun control and want to ban guns. On the other, they love to make movies glorifying gun violence. Can you say “hypocrisy”? Actor Ethan Hawke admitted it is “hard” to “sell a movie without a gun.” He makes more money from movies with guns than other kinds. Jeff Bock, senior box office analyst for Exhibitor Relations, agrees. “You can’t deny that nearly every action movie, and superhero movie for that matter, turn to the rat-a-tat-tat of gunplay when they need a kicker or there’s a lull in the story,” he told USA Today. “Stories in the action/adventure genre seem to rely on gun violence without much thought to the consequences”
While this may seem innocuous enough, the fact is many Muslims see their offspring as their contribution to the jihad, the “struggle” to make Islam supreme, since more numbers equate more influence and power. The popularity of “Muhammad” is not a fad, but a message from the parents (usually the father) concerning whom they most revere and hope their sons emulate: the founder of Islam/jihad. Although the original, historic jihad was straightforward warfare on the infidel to make Islam supreme, the ulema articulated other jihads, all of which work to the same end. Jihad al-wilada (or childbearing) is seen as a way to contribute to the “struggle” to make Islam supreme.
The U.S. State Department affirms in its annual International Religious Freedom Report, published Tuesday, that the communist regime controlling North Korea “considered Christianity a serious threat, as it challenges the official cult of personality and provided a platform for social and political organization and interaction outside the government.” The State Department – citing United Nations reports, NGOs, and media organizations specializing in North Korea coverage – found that Kim Jong-un’s regime regularly employed “arbitrary executions, political prison camps, and torture amounting to crimes against humanity” against anyone suspected of adhering to any faith, but targeted Christians in particular throughout 2017.
The U.S. State Department’s latest International Religious Freedom Report for Afghanistan reveals that in the officially Islamic state there is one practicing Jew, one synagogue that is inactive, one Jewish cemetery that is used as an unofficial dump, and no public Christian churches. In addition, there are harsh penalties, including up to death, for crimes such as apostasy (from Islam), conversion, proselytizing, and blasphemy. The U.S. military invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, to drive out the Taliban and help the Afghanis to establish a democratic government, which they now have, with a president/executive branch and a Parliament. Some good that did!
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that in 2017, the U.S. had a fertility rate of 1.76, the lowest on record. As recently as a decade ago, it was 2.08, close to replacement, but itself a far cry from where it was in 1960 (3.5). The bad news keeps getting worse. Not everyone cares. Libertarians – who care deeply about the legalization of marijuana and private ownership of tactical nuclear weapons – are nonchalant. Most lack the awareness to even begin discussing what could be the greatest crisis of the 21st century. In terms of demography, fertility refers to the number of children the average woman will have in her lifetime. Roughly 2.1 is needed just to maintain current population.
Planned Parenthood has been caught repeatedly performing abortions on abuse victims as young as 12 and 13 years old, failing to report suspected sexual abuse to authorities, and sending victims back to their abusers. A new investigative report chronicles these cases and reveals PP’s decades-long pattern of helping child sex abusers cover up their crimes. Former PP staff members have gone further and said that reporting of sex trafficking was also discouraged by PP supervisors. Even though PP is required under law to report law enforcement about sexual assault on young women, the former managers say they were discouraged from calling it in.